Alternative Albany 2017

Alternative Albany 17 Six institutions in Albany’s Mansion Neighborhood invite the public to attend the second annual Alternative Albany Open House on Saturday, May 6, 2017 from 11am to 3 p.m.

The Open House is a celebration of community and the activist history of Mansion Neighborhood; and also an invitation for the larger community to engage and strengthen these unique Albany institutions: AVillage, the Family Life Center, the Free School, Capital South Campus Center, Grand Street Community Arts, and Radix Ecological Sustainability Center.

11am – 12pm Open House at Albany Free School – 8 Elm Street
12pm – 1pm Open House & Tour at Grand Street Community Arts – 68 Grand Street
(GSCA Building tour begins at 12:15)
1pm – 2:15pm: Drop-in Open House at Family Life Center- Capital Region – 20 Elm Street and at the Capital South Campus Center (CSCC)-Albany – 20 Warren Street
2pm – 3pm: AVillage info table at Radix Center
2pm – 3pm: Open House & Tour at The Radix Center – 153 Grand Street (Greenhouse tour begins at 2:15)

Media contacts listed at the bottom of this post.

Map of anchor sites here.

Alternative Albany 2017 will move from one center to another over four hours, beginning at the Albany Free School and finishing at The Radix Center. This year, there will be drop-in Open House hours at the Albany Family Life Center and Capital South Campus Center.

The Albany Free School, located at 8 Elm St., will host an open house from 11am. until 12 p.m. Founded in 1969 by Mary Leue, the Albany Free School is the longest-running inner-city independent alternative school in the United States. The Free School provides unique alternatives to traditional models of education, offering families a radically child-centered and self-directed approach to learning. Visit to see this progressive model of education at work and see how it is true community-based schooling.

Grand Street Community Arts, located at 68 Grand Street, will host an open house from 12 p.m. until 1 p.m. A guided building tour will begin at 12:15. Enjoy a peek into the historic St. Anthony’s Church and see how it is being transformed (again!) into a center for the arts. This doors of this 12-year old institution have been closed since 2012. From 2004-11, GSCA presented art, music and classes, with a focus on children, youth and families. GSCA is working to re-open the building this year, and will serve as a hub for community, arts and culture–a venue for performances, exhibitions and gatherings. This February, GSCA installed the transmitter for the new radio station, WCAA! Come get a look at the studio for the new radio station and learn about this summer’s Grand Re-Opening!

The Radix Ecological Sustainability Center, located at 153 Grand St., will host an open house from 2pm until 3pm (or later.) A  greenhouse tour will begin at 2:15pm.  “It is possible to meet human needs while simultaneously restoring ecosystems,” says Radix Center founders, Scott Kellogg and Stacy Pettigrew. “Good environmental stewardship is rewarded by better health, wholesome food, and strong communities.” The Radix Center teaches practical skills that can be applied to create environmental and economic sustainability. Emphasis is placed on issues of food security, health, and the remediation of contaminated soils. The urban environmental educational center demonstrates environmental technologies and sustainable micro industries in today’s cities. Tour the center and its solar heated bioshelter greenhouse that contains an integrated food production system consisting of fish, plants, chickens, goats and more!

AVillage, located at 3 Lincoln Square, will host an info table at the Radix Center from 2pm – 3pm. AVillage will share the latest news on their Ezra Prentice Health Survey and advocacy. AVillage is a grassroots, non-profit organization, founded in August 2009, with a dedication to developing the South End of Albany, NY. AVillage works to identify the tools needed for change, and then help the community to access them. AVillage meets with community members on a regular basis, launches community building events, and collaborates with community partners. They reclaim vacant lots, organize neighborhood clean-ups, work with neighborhood youth, and engage in public issue advocacy.

The Family Life Center (FLC), located at 20 Elm Street, will host an Open House from 1pm – 2:15pm. The FLC is the oldest independent childbirth support center in the Greater Capital Region. Conceived in 1976, the Center has grown to offer a broad range of programs to families which educate and empower them on their birthing and parenting journeys. Being invested in Albany’s South End but committed to families representing a rather large geographic area, FLC’s goal is to help individuals and couples foster the critical thinking skills necessary with which to make informed decisions about healthcare during the childbearing years and beyond. FLC offers individualized midwifery and doula care, conducts classes and workshops including childbirth preparation, breastfeeding prep and support, mother-to-mother groups, playgroups, infant massage, pre-natal yoga, Father’s/Partner’s Nights, water birth class and much more. It has long been a place of nourishing and nurturing, more than three decades long and still going strong. 

The Capital South Campus Center, located at 20 Warren St, will host an Open House from 1pm  2:15pm. The Capital South Campus Center (CSCC) is an educational and vocational facility partnering with local community schools and organizations to motivate the community towards a common goal and help rejuvenate the Albany area that we call home.  The CSCC is a project of Trinity Alliance, potentially the greatest addition of Trinity Alliance of the Capital Region’s services. A 17,500 square foot educational center, the CSCC represents “Phase 1” of a larger redevelopment plan for Lincoln Square, a 4.5-acre superblock in the City of Albany’s south end, into a mixed-use educational campus.

For more information, contact:
Alexis Bhagat, Event Coordinator, @nadalex

Ellen Becker
Grand Street Community Arts

Scott Kellogg
Radix Ecological Sustainability Center

Tershia Ellis
The Albany Free School / 518-434-3072

Betsy Mercogliano
The Family Life Center Albany

Robert Burke
Trinity Alliance / CSCC

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